Jacob Blesses Pharaoh
1Then Joseph went to see Pharaoh and told him, “My father and my brothers have arrived from the land of Canaan. They have come with all their flocks and herds and possessions, and they are now in the region of Goshen.”
2Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh. 3And Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
They replied, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just like our ancestors. 4We have come to live here in Egypt for a while, for there is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine is very severe there. So please, we request permission to live in the region of Goshen.”
5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have joined you here, 6choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too.”
7Then Joseph brought in his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8“How old are you?” Pharaoh asked him.
9Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But my life has been short compared to the lives of my ancestors.” 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving his court.
11So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt—the region of Rameses—to his father and his brothers, and he settled them there, just as Pharaoh had commanded. 12And Joseph provided food for his father and his brothers in amounts appropriate to the number of their dependents, including the smallest children.
Joseph’s Leadership in the Famine
13Meanwhile, the famine became so severe that all the food was used up, and people were starving throughout the lands of Egypt and Canaan. 14By selling grain to the people, Joseph eventually collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and he put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. “Our money is gone!” they cried. “But please give us food, or we will die before your very eyes!”
16Joseph replied, “Since your money is gone, bring me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. In exchange for their horses, flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and donkeys, Joseph provided them with food for another year.
18But that year ended, and the next year they came again and said, “We cannot hide the truth from you, my lord. Our money is gone, and all our livestock and cattle are yours. We have nothing left to give but our bodies and our land. 19Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we offer our land and ourselves as slaves for Pharaoh. Just give us grain so we may live and not die, and so the land does not become empty and desolate.”
20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh. 21As for the people, he made them all slaves,#47:21 As in Greek version and Samaritan Pentateuch; Hebrew reads he moved them all into the towns. from one end of Egypt to the other. 22The only land he did not buy was the land belonging to the priests. They received an allotment of food directly from Pharaoh, so they didn’t need to sell their land.
23Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. 24Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.”
25“You have saved our lives!” they exclaimed. “May it please you, my lord, to let us be Pharaoh’s servants.” 26Joseph then issued a decree still in effect in the land of Egypt, that Pharaoh should receive one-fifth of all the crops grown on his land. Only the land belonging to the priests was not given to Pharaoh.
27Meanwhile, the people of Israel settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt. There they acquired property, and they were fruitful, and their population grew rapidly. 28Jacob lived for seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, so he lived 147 years in all.
29As the time of his death drew near, Jacob#47:29 Hebrew Israel; also in 47:31b. See note on 35:21. called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt. 30When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.”
So Joseph promised, “I will do as you ask.”
31“Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.#47:31 Greek version reads and Israel bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. Compare Heb 11:21.
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1And Joseph came and told Pharaoh and said, My father and my brethren, and their sheep and their cattle, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen. 2And he took from the whole number of his brethren, five men, and set them before Pharaoh. 3And Pharaoh said to his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said to Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers. 4And they said to Pharaoh, To sojourn in the land are we come; for there is no pasture for the sheep that thy servants have, for the famine is grievous in the land of Canaan; and now, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen. 5And Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come to thee. 6The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land settle thy father and thy brethren: let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if thou knowest men of activity among them, then set them as overseers of cattle over what I have. 7And Joseph brought Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8And Pharaoh said to Jacob, How many are the days of the years of thy life? 9And Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my sojourning are a hundred and thirty years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they do not attain to the days of the years of the life of my fathers, in the days of their sojourning. 10And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from Pharaoh. 11And Joseph settled his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12And Joseph maintained his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to the number of the little ones.
13And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very grievous; and the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan were exhausted through the famine. 14And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. 15And when money came to an end in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, saying, Give us bread! for why should we die before thee? for our money is all gone. 16And Joseph said, Give your cattle, and I will give you for your cattle, if your money be all gone. 17And they brought their cattle to Joseph; and Joseph gave them bread for horses, and for flocks of sheep, and for herds of cattle, and for asses; and he fed them with bread for all their cattle that year. 18And that year ended; and they came to him the second year, and said to him, We will not hide it from my lord that since our money is come to an end, and the herds of cattle are in the possession of my lord, nothing is left before my lord but our bodies and our land. 19Why should we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be bondmen to Pharaoh; and give seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land be not desolate. 20And Joseph bought all the soil of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them; and the land became Pharaoh's. 21And as for the people, he removed them into the cities, from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end of it. 22Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had an assigned portion from Pharaoh, and ate their assigned portion which Pharaoh had given them; so they did not sell their land. 23And Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and sow the land. 24And it shall come to pass in the increase that ye shall give the fifth to Pharaoh, and the four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. 25And they said, Thou hast saved us alive. Let us find favour in the eyes of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's bondmen. 26And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that the fifth should be for Pharaoh, except the land of the priests: theirs alone did not become Pharaoh's.
27And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they had possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly. 28And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; and the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred and forty-seven years. 29And the days of Israel approached that he should die. And he called his son Joseph, and said to him, If now I have found favour in thine eyes, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me: bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt; 30but when I shall lie with my fathers, thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their sepulchre. And he said, I will do according to thy word. 31And he said, Swear to me; and he swore to him. And Israel worshipped on the bed's head.
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First published in 1890. This edition is maintained by the British and Foreign Bible Society.